One of the many highlights of the Fort Worth Sister Cities evening of cultural perspectives hosted by the Toluca, Mbabane and Reggio committees, was the presentation by local artist, Jo Dufo, whose original goal was to create 36 Peace Murals in just 6 months.
Dufo’s plan has now expanded to include a non-profit organization (ZOAZ) and a documentary about the project entitled “Walls of Peace”, to be created and directed by Michael Aku RoDriguez. With murals already completed in Fort Worth, (2009) Nagaoka, Japan (2010) and on all four outside walls of the care center in Mbabane, Swaziland,(2011) Dufo’s plans include our other six sister cities as well. Her vision reaches as far as a children’s mural in Nicaragua, a women and children’s health clinic in Bangladesh and projects in India and Haiti.
“It is inspiring to have 150 people show up and be able to complete a 250 foot mural in a day. Especially one that brings awareness to these care centers that provide meals to kids between 3-13 years old, who have been orphaned by AIDS and whose caregivers cannot afford to feed them, “ said Dufo.
The documentary, entitled “Walls of Peace”, will be featured on Kick Start.org once completed. Dufo and filmmaker RoDriguez spent two weeks this past Christmas in Chiapas, Mexico at an orphanage completing a 100 ft peace mural with artists in the community, both adults and children. Dufo shared, “Our way of spreading peace in the world is to go to these various locations, orphanages, hospitals, schools, clinics and celebrate life, celebrate the children, and create peace murals as a way for the community to connect with the organization. The experience allows people who live in the same area to develop a relationship with each other.” The nonprofit that supports this project is ZOAS, Creative Healing Arts. To see pictures of the project in motion visit their facebook page.
The evening included an historic documentary on the Rose Marine Theater by Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts and Jorge Varela, Executive Director and a presentation of “Mexico and the United States: Perspectives on Police Training” by Fort Worth Police Officers Daniel Segura and Manuel Reyes.